Negative Ten

You will never be one hundred years old. Not because few people live to be one hundred, nothing like that. Not even because before you’re one hundred, you have to be half of a hundred (50), and then get halfway from there to a hundred (75), and then halfway from there (87 ½), and so on forever, getting so close to but never quite reaching one hundred.

No. It’s because you managed to get yourself stranded in 1913. Part of you wonders if you should take advantage of the situation and try to stop World War I or something, but then again, you’ve seen enough movies to think of all sorts of inventive ways in which that could go wrong. Still, it’s strange to you how much of history just hasn’t happened yet. You really miss some of that stuff you left behind in the 21st century, like internet access and the right to vote. And it sure is awkward when you use slang that won’t be invented for another hundred years.

But you get used to it, because that’s what people do when they don’t have any other choice. Your friends think you have an uncanny knack for predicting the future, but who’s going to guess the truth? And who’s going to believe anyone who does? You live out your life in the twentieth century, knowing all the major events in advance, and boy is it weird. You do pretty well, though, living to the age of one hundred and dying peacefully in your sleep a decade before you’re born.

You will never be one hundred years old because you die at negative ten. But nobody’s ever going to say you were negative ten, because that would make no sense. Like it says in your obituary, you will be remembered as one hundred years old.

You’ll always be as old as you’ll never be.


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